The much anticipated 2021 EMEA FEM conference took place last week at the Lancaster hotel in London. Although many have posted about the EMMA’s won at the award ceremony in the evening, which includes Benivo who were proud to receive our 10th EMMA, this time for Most Innovative Use of Technology, Assignment Management and the wonderful Julia Onslow-Cole for her outstanding contribution to Global Mobility. I also wanted to share some of my key learnings from the conference sessions.
Top 5 takeaways from EMEA FEM
- Immigration remains a major challenge in EMEA and Globally: It was a fantastic, and exhausting two days packed with global mobility specific sessions from industry leaders and experts. I was honoured to be part of a panel on the first day discussing Immigration challenges in EMEA. On this illustrious panel were Marina Brizar, UK Director, Talent Beyond Boundaries, Said Boskovic, Director Global Mobility and Immigration, Elastic, Nadine Goldfoot, Managing Partner, UK, Fragomen and Gill Gordon, Chair of The Permits Foundation. The importance of flexibility and being able to know where to focus time and resources was a key theme. The panel all acknowledged both the increasing complexity of immigration due to both COVID-19 and Brexit, and the new challenge of not just if an employee can work in a new location - but can they (and their family) travel there at all. Countries that embraced technology, such as the Netherlands, have excelled and provided a key gateway to talent into and around Europe. Similarly, companies who have implemented and who are relying on specialist global mobility technologies, such as Benivo are able to manage the increased compliance and complexity. With the ability to identify where an employee is taking longer to complete an immigration step than other similar applicants or the agreed provider SLA, GM teams can focus their limited time and manual intervention appropriately and allow the team to preempt a delay and avoid an escalation or missed start date. Contact me here if you'd like to learn more about Benivo solutions.
- Remote and Virtual Work is Here to Stay: Both the ability to work remotely, at least some of the time and also the flexibility to receive services virtually is now an expectation not an exception. While most attendees agreed that 100% remote working is unlikely to be a reality in their organisations, most could not see a future without at least a hybrid approach. The same appeared true of service delivery with many companies embracing and seeing the value in receiving virtual services which previously may have been considered secondary or of lesser value. Des McKell of NetExpat summarised the benefits well by sharing that the delivery of NetExpat’s virtual services gave employees and their families the ability to attend sessions together even when in different locations and also to schedule services at their convenience, often well in advance of relocating or over several weeks. Conversely, Paul Bennett from PerchPeek shared that they have moved away from the 100% virtual delivery model and had taken steps to introduce in-person support. Similar to Benivo, PerchPeek is still growing and seeing the success and cost efficiencies delivered to employees and companies of a tech-first approach. Benivo is also meeting the request for more human touch points by combining digital briefs and employee social insights with Volunteers from companies - called ‘Social Insights Ambassadors’ to be available for those relocating to connect with and learn directly from the ambassadors' experience. Learn more.
- DEI&B: Good decisions are often also good business. In a powerful keynote address, Jan Stevens, CEO and Chief Nursing Officer, Wellington Hospital, gave an emotional and heartfelt endorsement of the success she has seen from getting talent from TBB. She testified that the benefits extended past the gaining of amazingly talented colleagues by the TBB talent by also delivering joy to the existing workforce and wider team. John Cameron, founder of TBB furthermore shared an opportunity for us all as individuals to give back by becoming a ‘neighbour to a newcomer’ https://www.n4n.org.uk/ and to make a real impact on a relocating skilled worker. I was equally proud to share that Benivo already works with TBB and other corporates to support diversity by providing an interest free loan to those relocating which is repayable only once they receive income from the company. TBB shared that by removing this barrier, employers can connect with diverse talent and enable those wanting to relocate but without the means to do so, to access this life-changing opportunity.
- Sustainability: In breakout sessions, attendees shared how their teams are expected to contribute to the company sustainability goals. Providing a way to encourage sustainability and to work with companies delivering sustainable solutions was a priority for 2022. With a commitment to being carbon neutral and virtual welcome experience solutions in addition to charitable support of sustainability projects and discard and donate, Benivo is able to deliver and provide reportable metrics and data on the difference made by their employees to corporates. Get a demo of Benivo's analytic solutions.
- Expansion of remit and responsibility: In addition to the logistical challenges of mobility drastically changing, the GM teams also shared the increase in voluntary relocation requests coming to their teams. With no additional resources, there is a real challenge to track this new population and the need for affordable management software which is fast to implement is now more required than ever. To meet this need, Benivo offers a fast (30 day) implementation and delivers a unique 3-1 solution with digital destination support, a free management platform and fintech solutions delivered for one flat fee per employee in addition to committing to free ongoing configuration and no need for any additional inhouse resources to maintain the Benivo software. Request a demo of Benivo here.
I look forward to seeing more colleagues at the FEM Amsterdam event in March, please do share your key learnings from the conference and reach out to me (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you would like to learn more about Benivo and how we can support your programs and goals for 2022.